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Same Arguments, Different Religion

Usually I discuss religion with Christians since Christianity is the majority religion in America however from time to time I get drawn into a conversation/debate with someone from one of the other Abrahamic religions. Interestingly enough, the arguments aren’t any different.

Last year for example, I got into a pretty lengthy religious conversation with my extremely Jewish cousin on facebook. He is closer to the orthodox side of Judaism and his main arguments in favor of his position were the First Cause Argument, the Argument by Design, The Moralistic Argument, etc. I didn’t really have to even know all that much about Orthodox Judaism to completely destroy his arguments and argue against his religious ideas.

More recently, I started to have a dialog with a few moderate Muslims. I have to confess right off the bat that I have not read the Koran and have no idea what it actually said. All I know is what I have heard from well respected atheists and I will for the sake of argument assume that they are wrong about what the Koran actually says.

According to the moderate Muslims, the Koran is all about piece and no one should ever do violence. I haven’t read the Koran so they might be right, but it does seem that a whole lot of Muslims missed that part when they advocate killing people over cartoons or any criticism of the Islamic religion. The Funny thing is that I hear Christians tell me that the Bible is all about piece too. If moderate to liberal Christians are to be believed Jesus was the first flower child and was a peace loving hippy.

Unlike the Koran, I have actually read the Bible and know full well that while there is a few passages that support the idea that Christianity is a religion of peace, most of the Bible is chocked full of hate and violence. Jesus himself states that he was not a peaceful person and his actions and attitudes confirm that.

With that in mind, I was able to tell my new Muslim friends that while I haven’t read the Koran, I strongly suspect that it is much like the Bible in that respect. I am sure there are some passages that talk about peace and love, but my guess is that most of the book is probably willed with hate and violence.

Without even reading the Koran or knowing much about Islam, I am pretty sure that I can address most of the arguments in favor of that religion and present arguments against it. The same is also true of Orthodox Judaism; because at the end of the day, all these bronze-aged religions are essentially the same. The details may change a little bit here or there, but the content of the religions are almost identical. The stories are all ridiculous and there is not one shred of evidence for any of it.

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  • kirk

    All three faiths depend on insider/outsider demarcation. The most liberal individuals will extend the blessings of god to *some* but not all outsiders. The most authoritarian insiders will not extend the blessings of god to many/most insiders and absolutely none of the outsiders.

    Each brand has rigorous orthodoxy about the demarcations from super-duper authoritarian insider to abject-unholy outsider.